PNP chief says teachers 'instigating' students should be charged

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2018 07:21 PM

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MANILA - Teachers who are "instigating" students to "go against the government" should face contempt charges, the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief said Thursday.

This, after the military bared a list of schools where communists are allegedly recruiting students for the supposed "Red October" plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said students should be taught about nationalism and love for the country, and not "false information and knowledge."

"Kung kasuhan kaya natin ang mga teacher na nag-iinstigate ng mga estudyante? They should be also charged for contempt... Kung mayroon man na faculty members," he said in a press briefing. 

(What if we file cases against teachers instigating the students? If there are such professors, they should be charged for contempt.)

A person may be cited in direct or indirect contempt if he or she offends a court during proceedings. Congress also has contempt powers during legislative investigations.

Albayalde also emphasized that students, especially those in state universities, are the "cream of the crop" and should be the "last bastion of hope" in the country.

"In state universities, they are given free education by the government and yet hindi ka pa graduate (you haven't graduated and) you are already going against the government that gives you free education," he said.

"The same with the faculty also. Ang nagbibigay sa'yo ng suweldo ay 'yung gobyerno (It's the government that pays your salary)," he added. 

Albayalde said the PNP was willing to help schools tagged by the military address the "infiltration" of communist rebels, but only if the administrators want to.

The Armed Forces earlier claimed that the ouster plot already started last September and would peak in October until December in time for the 50th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Students and officials of schools on the "Red October" list denied the alleged communist recruitment in their campuses. The military said some schools on the list are still being validated.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said he was not surprised about the military report but said school officials may not be complicit. 

Responding to Albayalde in a Facebook post, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said critics should not be regarded as destabilizers. 

"Sir, the goal of education (free or not) is to develop the critical mind of citizens. Students don't owe government; they get free education from Filipinos who pay taxes," said Hilbay, a University of the Philippines law professor. 

"Education for the purpose of blind obedience is miseducation. Students learning to criticize gov't for incompetence, corruption, inefficiency is wonderful use of public funds," he said.